Pitching: LHP Andy Pettitte (11-6, 4.18).
Pitching: RHP Jeremy Guthrie (9-12, 5.26).
TIME/TV: 7:05, YES.
STATE OF THE STRIPES: The Yankees have won three straight, four of five and 20 of the last 26. They start the day with a six-game lead on Boston in the AL East and a 4.5-game lead on Los Angeles for the best record in the AL. The Red Sox are idle today and the Angels are at Seattle later on.
BALTIMORE CHOP: The Yankees are 9-3 against the Orioles this season.
BABY, PLEASE DON’T GO: The Yankees are 20-7 in August.
THE JETER METER: Jeter is 45 of 118 (.381) this month with 26 runs scored, 17 RBI and 11 extra-base hits. He has reached base in the first inning in nine of the last 13 games.
DAMONSTRABLY GOOD: Johnny Damon is 9 of his last 23 with six runs scored, five RBI and three extra-base hits.
POSADA POWER: Jorge Posada is 8 of his last 20 with five extra-base hits and 10 RBI.
ANDY’S DANDY: Andy Pettitte is 3-1 with a 2.79 ERA in eight starts since the All-Star break. He has allowed only 43 hits over 51.2 innings while striking out 54.
PETTITTE VS. THE O’S: Pettitte faced Baltimore on July 20. He held them to one run over 7.1 innings and struck out eight but was not involved in the decision.
HISTORICAL SUCCESS: Pettitte is 25-6 with a 3.65 ERA in 38 career appearances against Baltimore. He has more wins against the Orioles than any other team.
GUTHRIE’S A GONER: Jeremy Guthrie is 1-2 with a 5.21 ERA in three starts against the Yankees this season.
COKE IS REALLY NOT IT: Phil Coke’s last 14 appearances: 11 innings, 15 hits, 13 earned runs, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts and 4 home runs.
Coke has allowed 10 home runs. Only one reliever in the American League have given up more: Jensen Lewis of Cleveland (11) . Baltimore’s Brian Mass also has allowed 10 dingers.
ON THE iPOD RIGHT NOW: Shut Up And Get On The Plane by The Drive-By Truckers. You know who turned me on to the Truckers? The estimable George King of the Post.
Back with more later.
UPDATE, 5:39 p.m.: Just a normal day off for A-Rod. He last had one on Aug. 14. … Because the Yankees feel a silly need to play “I’ve Got a Secret” with everything, Girardi would only say that “more than two pitchers” will get called up tomorrow “and a couple” of position players.
Just a guess: Cervelli, Pena, Melancon, Albaladejo and either Claggett or Ramirez.
UPDATE, 6:01 p.m.: Chuck Liddell, the MMA guy, was on the field before the game and played catch with Joba. He had a tattoo on his head.
UPDATE, 6:07 p.m.: Good news on IPK via the AP:
Yankees pitcher Ian Kennedy will throw batting practice Wednesday for the first time since surgery May 12 to remove an aneurysm from beneath his right biceps.
Kennedy said he felt great after throwing 45 pitches off a mound Monday. The right-hander will make 30 pitches during Wednesday’s session. He also is scheduled to face hitters Saturday and the following Tuesday.
UPDATE, 6:09 p.m.: Gritty, gutty, scrappy and determined Brett Gardner took 30 swings off a tee and took some soft toss yesterday. He will take BP on the field tomorrow and hopes to join up with Triple-A Scranton by Thursday. “I feel really good, it’s getting better every day,” he said.
UPDATE, 7:01 p.m.: It’s almost comical how many more Yankees fans there are here tonight. The Yankees lineup got huge cheers and when Posada came out to go to the bullpen to warm up Pettitte he got an ovation.
UPDATE, 7:05 p.m.: We are underway at Yankee Stadium South. Nice night in the Charm City. Enjoy the game.
UPDATE, 7:19 p.m.: Yankees just released this info on postseason pricing:
The Yankees today announced 2009 postseason ticket pricing for potential games at Yankee Stadium in the American League Division Series, American League Championship Series and World Series. Prices for the vast majority of postseason tickets are less than those that were charged by the Yankees for equivalent seating in the 2007 postseason at the original Yankee Stadium.
Regular season ticket prices for full-season ticket licensees (non-Suites) will be replicated for the 2009 American League Division Series (i.e., a Main Level ticket that costs a full-season ticket licensee $60 in the 2009 regular season will cost the same licensee $60 for the ALDS), however, full-season ticket licensees (non-Suites) of $325 Field Level seats may purchase their seats for the ALDS at the lower price of $275 each.
For full-season ticket licensees (non-Suite), prices will range from $5-$275 per ticket for the ALDS, $10-$350 per ticket for the ALCS, and $50-$425 per ticket for the World Series.
Full-season Suite licensees in the Legends Suite, Delta Sky360° Suite and Jim Beam Suite, have all already paid their Suite license fees. Accordingly, they will only be required to purchase their Suite tickets, which will range from $65-$275 per Suite ticket for the ALDS, $115-$350 per Suite ticket for the ALCS, and $150-$425 per Suite ticket for the World Series. As with the regular season, Legends Suite licensees will also be required to pay a per-game food and beverage fee, but not a Suite license fee.
All ticket purchasers must also pay a Major League Baseball-sanctioned handling fee, which ranges in price from $1 for each ALDS ticket priced at $5 to a maximum of $6 for each ALDS ticket priced at $40 or more. The handling fee for each ticket will be set based upon ALDS ticket pricing and remain the same for all subsequent postseason rounds, regardless of the ticket price.
Please note that the quantity of postseason tickets available to those who are not 2009 season ticket licensees will be limited and vary for each postseason round. Yankee Stadium has a seating capacity of 50,235, excluding standing room. For each postseason game, the first opportunity to purchase tickets is provided to current season-ticket licensees, which represent in excess of 37,000 full-season equivalent ticket licenses. Major League Baseball directs clubs to dedicate approximately 3,000 tickets per game for players of the participating clubs and to accommodate the media. In addition, Major League Baseball requires approximately 5,500 tickets per ALDS game, 7,000 tickets per ALCS game and 9,500 tickets per World Series game.
Subject to availability, non-Suite tickets for public sale will range from $5-$375 per ticket for the ALDS, $10-$400 per ticket for the ALCS, and $50-$425 per ticket for the World Series, and in all cases the handling fee will be added. The date of any public on-sale has not been determined at this time. For information as it becomes available, please visit www.yankees.com.
UPDATE, 7:33 p.m.: It’s a road game, so Swisher connects. 1-0 Yankees. … Pettitte dominating through two innings.
UPDATE, 7:45 p.m.: This from the Yankees:
The Yankees have acquired minor league outfielder Freddy Guzman from Triple-A Norfolk (Baltimore) in exchange for a player to be named later or cash. Guzman will be assigned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
In 95 combined games with Triple-A Tacoma, Pawtucket and Norfolk this season, Guzman batted .218 (72-for-329) with nine doubles, four triples, two home runs, 16 RBI and 38 stolen bases. He appeared in the Majors with the San Diego Padres in 2004 and the Texas Rangers in 2006 and 2007.
UPDATE, 8:01 p.m.: Perfect Pettitte starts this inning having thrown 28 of 36 pitches for strikes.
UPDATE, 8:06 p.m.: Wow, 12 up and 12 down for Pettitte. He has struck out four. Nothing close to a hit for Baltimore yet.
UPDATE, 8:15 p.m.: Do you get the feeling that a bunt is somehow going to screw up a playoff game for the Yankees? I sure do.
Yankees up 2-0. No outs, runners on first and second against a struggling pitcher and Melky is up having doubled in the third inning.
Girardi has him bunt and it hands Baltimore an out at third base. It’s a senseless play. Why give Guthrie any help?
UPDATE, 8:18 p.m.: And Jeter GIDP to ends the inning. They get what they deserve there. Maybe Melky would have, say, gotten another hit. He came to the plate 9 for 19 against Guthrie in his career. But, no, take the bat out of his hands.
UPDATE, 8:20 p.m.: Wait, it gets worse, Melky was 9 for 19 against Guthrie with SIX EXTRA BASE HITS and Girardi had him bunt.
UPDATE, 8:24 p.m.: 15 up and 15 down for Andy Pettitte. He’s making the O’s look silly.
UPDATE, 8:34 p.m.: This is getting serious now. Pettitte perfect through six. Nice play by Hairston on Weiters.
UPDATE, 8:52 p.m.: Wow, Hairston lets a grounder through his legs to ruin the perfect game. Pettitte was only seven outs away. But the no-hitter remains intact.
UPDATE, 8:53 p.m.: Andy should pick Jones off.
This is still a game, by the way, Only 2-0.
UPDATE, 8:54 p.m.: So much for that. At least it was a clean single by Markakis.
UPDATE, 9:14 p.m.: That walk-off homer seems to have lifted Cano out of RISP oblivion. Yankees now lead 5-0 and the few Baltimore fans in the crowd are fleeing.
What a shame Hairston booted that ball. Would love to see if Andy could have finished that off.
UPDATE, 9:22 p.m.: There goes the shutout, too. Pettitte at only 90 pitches but he may be cooked. The emotions from the last inning must have chewed him up. How could they not?
UPDATE, 9:52 p.m.: Easy save for Mo. No. 37. Yankees win 5-1 and lead Boston by 6.5 games. Thirty games left to play now and they’re 83-48.
Back later with reaction. Kim Jones has Swish on the field for the YES postgame interview. That should be a hoot.